Charles Barkley Donates $250,000 to CFNM for African-American History Initiative

Hernando, Miss. March 23, 2018 Charles Barkley, retired Hall of Fame Basketball Player, Emmy Award winning studio analyst, and author, recently donated $250,000 to the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi to power a new African-American history initiative for high school students throughout Mississippi and Alabama.

The Community Foundation partners with EVERFI, a leading education technology company, to provide the Community Digital Scholars Program that empowers teachers in Northwest Mississippi to bring critical skills and education to 4th – 12th graders.  Topics include:  financial literacy, STEM readiness, diversity & inclusion, entrepreneurship, and health & wellness.

The donation will help support the 306: African-American History digital course which immerses students in a journey where they learn about the incredible contributions that African-Americans have made in every fabric of American life including public service, the sciences, academia, and the world of the arts, music, and sports. The course is framed to teach the importance of civic engagement so that students develop into future community leaders.

“The course will engage tens of thousands of students in the Mississippi Delta region at no cost to students, their schools or school districts,” said Tom Pittman, President of the Community Foundation.  “Additionally, as part of this new partnership, Barkley’s production company, Round Mound Media, will create documentary content for the 306 course, in conjunction with Los Angeles-based creative and production agency Wondros, designed for students to further explore key moments and topics in specific to their states.”

“I was born and raised in rural Alabama at the dawn of the Civil Rights era, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to American heroes like Medgar Evers, John Lewis, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Charles Barkley. “Every child in my home state should have the keys to knowledge of their history so they can achieve great things in their own lives.  This initiative helps accomplish that.”

EVERFI administered survey questions to students across 28 states who took EVERFI’s 306—African-American History™ course and discovered students who think learning about African-American history is important are also more likely to say they intend to vote.

“Even in today’s advanced technological world, it’s rare that teachers have the adequate tools to bring to life the stories of pride, perseverance, and leadership that are so prevalent throughout African-American history,” said EVERFI CEO Tom Davidson. “We’re incredibly excited to work with the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and Charles Barkley to offer this digital initiative that makes African-American history readily accessible and allows students in the Mississippi Delta to re-imagine how they see themselves through the lens of history.”

Since its development, EVERFI’s 306 -African American History course has already reached nearly 100,000 students across the country, including over 17,000 in Alabama and Mississippi. The online course is filled with stories of inspirational civic leaders that overcame adversity to make contributions to society both then and now.  These inspirational stories, shared through influential primary texts and compelling vignettes, build shared values and teach youth the importance of active citizenship.

EVERFI, Inc., founded in 2008, is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model and has certified over 18 million learners in critical skill areas. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund, Advance Publications, and Rethink Education, and Rethink Impact. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 4,200 partners in their education initiatives across all 50 states and Canada. Learn more at EVERFI.com

The Community Foundation receives tax-deductible donations from hundreds of donors to assist numerous charitable programs and causes.  The Community Foundation also works with donors to help them leave their legacy through planned giving.

The Community Foundation manages 240 donor-established funds and has disbursed $20.2 million to support more than 420 charitable organizations and activities recommended by its donors, as well as charitable programs established by the foundation.  Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties.

For more information, contact the Community Foundation at  662.449.5002 or visit www.cfnm.org.